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Refugees in Literature

The global community is in the midst of a refugee crisis unlike anything seen since WWII. In our country, there is a fierce debate about immigrants. Refugees are being resettled in communities all around us, yet voices of intolerance sound more loudly every day. The need for understanding and compassion is greater than ever.   

Hearts & Homes for Refugees  has worked with educators to compile a collection of stand-out titles from an ever-growing list of books by and about refugees. By humanizing conflicts and those involved, these books offer compelling counters to the anti-stranger narrative. Click on the blue link below to view or download.

Refugees in Literature Reading and Discussion Guide

Bringing Refugees in Literature into schools and libraries offers opportunities for conversation and critical thinking to help children discover truths about refugees and their journeys. The compelling message is that refugees are just like all of us: people in search of a safe place to live. 


To develop the Refugees in Literature resource, we convened a volunteer committee of educators (teachers, librarians, communications specialists) to ensure that our selections and teacher guideline references were most useful.

Our goal was to identify books with both a strong narrative and an accurate representation of refugees’ experiences. We also sought to capture a variety of refugee circumstances, ranging from reasons why individuals become refugees to what it is like arriving in and adjusting to life in a new country.

Each book was read and vetted by a minimum of two educators. The books are sorted by reading level and sensitive content is indicated. Please also note that older readers can benefit and learn from books that may seem to be geared for younger grades. Wherever available, we included teaching suggestions to help educators integrate these works into their existing curriculum.

We hope that this thoughtfully curated list will help correct misperceptions that lead to intolerance and prejudice, and will instill in these future citizens of the world empathy and respect for all people.